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Past Winners of the Teacher of the Week

John Simonetti


The Center for Instructional Development and Educational Research (CIDER) recognizes John Simonetti, professor of Physics, for his interactions with students, both in and outside of the classroom, that enhance their understanding, excitement, and development as a learner and human being.

Professor Simonetti has concentrated his teaching in astronomy and astrophysics, where he is one of the founders of the Astronomy Minor offered by the Physics Department. In upper level astrophysics and observing courses, he strives to make the subject alive, relying on student-to-student and student-to-professor interactions. His greatest joy is in Observational Astrophysics where students work in teams, with his guidance, to attack novel observing projects, often with the potential to contribute to knowledge. Lately, he has branched out to teach the Seminar for Physics Majors, a freshman course that is part of the First Year Experiences program. In this course he works with students to help them learn to "think like a physicist" -- attack new problems with out-of-the-box thinking utilizing the laws of physics as tools.

Professor Simonetti is a winner of the 2009 William E. Wine Award for Teaching Excellence from Virginia Tech, the 2009 Dr. Carroll B. Shannon Certificate of Teaching Excellence from the College of Science, and the 2009 College of Science Award for Outreach Excellence. He is a member of the Virginia Tech Academy of Teaching Excellence, and the Director of the Physics Department's Astronomy Outreach Program.


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Teacher of the Week

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View Past Winners

A list of the past winners is available.